Saturday, December 10, 2005

Gun Control Resources

On Thursday, as part of its platform in the January 23, 2006 federal elections, the Liberal Party of Canada proposed a sweeping national ban on handguns.

Among other things, according to the press release, the plan would involve:

  • Banning handguns through an amendment to the criminal code that would invite provincial and territorial government participation to make the ban national; an amnesty and buy-back program to collect existing handguns; and a national Gunstoppers Program to provide financial rewards for information leading to removing an illegal gun from the street; all at a cost of $30 million a year over 5 years
  • Toughening penalties by re-introducing legislation to crack down on violent gun crimes and gang violence, by doubling the mandatory minimum sentences for key gun crimes: trafficking of firearms, smuggling of firearms, and illegal possession of loaded handguns in public places

To understand the debate, here are various resources.


  • Implementing the Firearms Act - the rising cost (CBC News Indepth): "When Canada's auditor general tabled her December 2002 report, she set her sights on Ottawa's controversial gun-registry program. Sheila Fraser blasted the federal government for exceeding its estimated budget, saying that, by the time the smoke cleared and all gun owners and their guns were registered, the program would have cost taxpayers more than $1 billion. Opposition critics were quick to point out that figure is 500 times more than the original $2-million estimate. A look at internal audits conducted by the Canadian Firearms Program suggests the cost of the program has been an issue from the beginning"
  • Law-Abiding Unregisterd Firearms Association: organization of Canadian gun owners fighting for the repeal of the current Firerams Act
  • Coalition for Gun Control: the website contains information about federal legislation and the degree of effectiveness of the firearms registry system, the situation in the various provinces, summaries of statistical and sociological studies on the issue of the impact of firearms control laws, a comparison of gun laws and gun deaths in various foreign jurisdictions, news, etc.
  • Canada Firearms Centre/Centre des armes à feu Canada: federal government agency created by an order-in-council in 2003 to oversee the administration of the Firearms Act and the Canadian Firearms Program. The website includes explanations of the legislation and regulations, research reports, and a detailed history of gun control in Canada since 1892


  • Coalition for Gun Control - International Context: information on mortality and injury caused by small arms, trends in domestic firearms controls in various countries (UK, New Zealand, Australia, Japan), international efforts
  • Canada Firearms Centre - Firearms And The Experience Of Other Countries
  • Small Arms/Firearms Education and Research Network: the website of this research group based at Ryerson University in Toronto offers country profiles (in the blue top navigation bar, click on "Regions" on the far right). The profiles include firearm ownership statistics, types of legal firearms, firearm injury and death statistics, domestic legislation
  • Internet Resource Guide - Criminal Law Resources - Firearms (Parliamentary Library - Australia): links to legislation and regulations, websites for the national gun buyback program, various parliamentary and departmental documents and press releases
  • Gun Policy News (School of Public Health, Sydney, Australia): this site offers an RSS news feed with stories from around the world, and features headlines, abstracts and Web links to gun policy-related articles published in the international, mainstream mass media
  • Home Office - Operational Policing - Firearms (United Kingdom): links to various documents and government circulars on gun control
  • Gun Control Network (United Kingdom): established in 1996 in the aftermath of the Dunblane tragedy when a man shot to death 16 very young children and their teacher in a school gym in Scotland. The founders include lawyers, academics and the parents of victims killed in Dunblane and Hungerford ( in 1987, 16 people in Hungerford 100 km West of London were mowed down by a gunman armed with a Kalashnikov, an automatic rifle and a Beretta pistol). The website provides news, research and analysis of UK legislation, from an anti-gun perspective
  • Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress (Congressional Research Service Report, hosted by University of North Texas Libraries): May 2005 overview of legislative proposals on the topic on gun control in the U.S. Congress. The issues that are likely to receive attention are proposals to give the gun industry immunity from tort liability (done in November), regulate certain firearms previously defined in statute as assault weapons, and require background checks for private firearm transfers at gun shows
  • State Gun Laws - Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (United States): all 50 states have been rated on seven types of legislation related to the right of juveniles to own firearms, the right to sell a gun to a child, whether gun owners are held responsible for leaving loaded guns easily accessible to children, whether guns are required to have child-safety locks, loaded-chamber indicators and other childproof designs, the existence of restrictions on unsafe "Saturday night specials", the right of cities and counties to enact tougher local gun laws, whether background checks are required at gun shows and between "private" parties, and whether it is legal to carry concealed handguns in public
  • Firearms - Legal Overview (U.S. Department of Justice - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives): summary information about U.S. federal gun laws, as well as regulations concerning various subtopics such as gun dealer licensing, the sale of armour-piercing ammunition, interstate gun sales, categories of people prohibited from owning weapons, etc.
  • JURIST - Gun Law/Gun Control (University of Pittsburgh School of Law): contains an archive of news stories about gun control, as well as links to pro and con gun control websites, commentary and official documents (recent bills, case law)
  • Firearms Litigation Clearinghouse (Washington, D.C.): the Clearinghouse is a program of the "Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence". The website tracks litigation relating to firearms in the United States
  • Legal Community Against Violence: San Francisco- based public interest law centre dedicated to preventing gun violence. The site provides links to federal and state firearm policies. The state policies are broken down by topic (e.g. assault weapons, concealed weapons, gun shows, imitation guns, manufacturer liability, large ammunition clips, machine guns, etc.)
  • National Rifle Association: the largest gun owner organization in the world. Legislative monitoring and lobbying are among its major activities and this is reflected on the website

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:32 pm


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